Welcome back to BroadwayWorld's newest exclusive feature, and first-ever talk show, BACKSTAGE WITH RICHARD RIDGE. Follow Richard as he visits Broadway's best and brightest in their Broadway dressing rooms to talk about their lives, careers and all of the things you don't know, but want to know.
In this week's installment, Richard sits with the UK's First Lady of Musical Theatre, Elaine Paige - still here and still going strong. Paige is back on Broadway for the second time in her career as the iconic diva Carlotta Campion in FOLLIES at the Marquis Theatre.
During their in-depth discussion, Ridge and Paige take a walk down memory lane as Paige recounts all of her career highlights, including personal stories of working with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Stephen Sondhiem, how she got her first break into the big leagues, and how being petite became her greatest blessing. Click below to hear it all from the leading lady herself.
Paige has starred in numerous West End productions, on Broadway and in concert internationally, sweeping to fame when she created her award winning performance as Eva Peron in Evita. Shortly afterwards she created the role of Grizabella in the original production of Cats and the classic song Memory became one of Elaine's many hit records.
Further theatre productions: Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, Billy, Chess (with her record breaking number one hit I Know Him So Well with Barbara Dickson), Anything Goes, Piaf, Sunset Boulevard in London and Broadway, The King and I, Sweeney Todd (New York City Opera) and The Drowsy Chaperone. She has worked twice with Sir Peter Hall's Theatre Company in The Misanthrope and Feydeau's Where There's A Will.
Elaine has performed in concert worldwide from The White House to The Great Hall of the People in Beijing, from the Bolshoi to Sydney Opera House. She has appeared in many television roles including her own TV specials and Royal Variety Shows. She has recorded 20 solo albums (4 multi Platinum and 8 consecutive Gold) and 6 cast albums and has been honoured with a number of awards: Society of West End Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical and Variety Club Award for Show Business Personality of the year (1978); Variety Club Award for Musical Artiste (1986) and Variety Club Award for Best Actress (1995); Gold Badge of Merit from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (1994); HMV Lifetime Achievement Award (1996); Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (1999); Order of the British Empire for services to Musical Theatre (1995), Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Musical (2004) and Variety Club Special Presentation for 40 Years on Stage (2009).
This year marks the 6th anniversary of the hugely successful weekly BBC Radio 2 show Elaine Paige on Sunday. The programme, devoted to musical theatre and film music, continues to delight audiences of over 2 million listeners each week with its mix of music, competitions and interviews.
Filmed/edited by Jessica Lewis